The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (TheCode.org) announced it is moving into a new stage of development, thanks to the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). SECO funding for the period 2012-2014 will allow a significant organizational expansion and development of the Code organization. Starting immediately, the Code will initiate the process of establishment of a new headquarters office in Bangkok, Thailand, to be operationally supported by regional offices for the Americas and Europe. This will be carried out with the organizational assistance of ECPAT International, who will initially host the Code headquarters office.
The Board of Directors also announced the recruitment of Andreas Astrup as General Manager for the Code Bangkok headquarters, who will assume the position starting December 1, 2011. Andreas Astrup has previous experience as Head of Planning at Amnesty International in Copenhagen and is a Danish citizen. Starting January 1, 2012, the Code NY office will become the regional office for the Americas and in 2013, the Code regional office for Europe will be established in Berlin. The Code trusts that this expansion will allow it to better assist the Code members in their work promoting and implementing the Code, and to support more the local code representatives in the future.
Over the last decade, the Code organization received wide international recognition as an instrument of social responsibility and child protection in tourism, being acknowledged with distinctions including: the Tourism for Tomorrow Award (2003), the Ending Human Slavery Award (2008), the Ethical Corporation Award (2010), the Business-Leaders Award to Fight Human Trafficking (2010), etc. The Code private sector membership reached over 1,000 companies in 42 countries including leading travel and tourism companies such as Accor, Kuoni, Carlson, Delta, etc., and continues growing steadily.
The Code has had the benefit of working with strategic partners UNICEF and UNWTO under the leadership of Matthias Leisinger, Chairman, and Mark Capaldi, Vice-Chairman.